Shikhar Dhawan notched up a brilliant unbeaten 75 as India defeated New Zealand comprehensively by 8 wickets in the first one day international in Napier on Wednesday.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Black Caps started poorly as they lost the opening pair of Martin Guptill and Colin Munro early, both falling to Mohammed Shami.
The 28 year old Shami thereby also became the fastest Indian bowler to take 100 wickets in One-day Internationals. He reached the landmark in his 56th ODI, breaking the previous record held by left arm pacer Irfan Pathan, who did it in 59 matches.
Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor then steadied the innings by putting on 34 runs for the third wicket, before Yuzvendra Chahal broke their stand by getting Taylor caught and bowled for 24.
Tom Latham was also dismissed in similar fashion as he became Chahal’s next victim. Skipper Williamson and Henry Nicholls tried to resurrect the innings by adding a small 31 run stand for the fifth wicket before the latter was dismissed by a brilliant catch by Kuldeep Yadav off the part time bowler Kedar Jadhav.
Mitchell Santner looked steady in his short stay until he was dismissed leg before wicket by Shami, leaving the home side in trouble at 133 for 6.
Once Williamson fell for 64, New Zealand’s innings came to a quick close, with the hosts eventually bundled out for 157 runs in 38 overs.
Left arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the most successful bowler, as he finished with figures of 4/39 in his alloted 10 overs, while his spinning partner Chahal bagged 2 wickets. Fast bowler Shami claimed 3 wickets.
Chasing a target of 157 runs, the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma started solidly by adding 41 runs for the opening stand before Doug Bracewell had Rohit edging one to Guptill at slip.
Play was halted for 30 minutes after the break because the setting sun made it difficult to spot the ball. That forced DLS to come into play, with India given a revised target of 156 in 49 overs.
Dhawan was given a reprieve when he top edged a bouncer, only for keeper Tom Latham to spill the catch. That ended any slim hopes New Zealand might have had of victory, as the left hander and skipper Virat Kohli then eased their way to the target.
Dhawan and Kohli added 91 run partnership for the second wicket before the latter was dismissed by a quick Lockie Ferguson bouncer for a solid 45.
Ambati Rayudu looked a bit iffy in his short stay but managed to stay till the end, as India won the match with more than 15 overs to spare.
Dhawan also became the second fastest Indian batsman to reach 5000 runs, achieving the feat in 118 games.
Shami was declared the Man of the match for his brilliant spell where he claimed 3 wickets for 19 runs in his 6 overs.
The second one day international will be played at Mount Maunganui on January 26.